India Rising

One of the most unique stories in the TBT, India Rising looks to show the world that Indian-Origin players can ball

 

After losing by 28 in their debut last year to Boeheim’s Army, India Rising got to work to make their team better. When most teams are compiled, they’ll usually ask alumni of their schools, overseas players, who are generally interested in the tournament, or friends of the GM of the team.

India Rising did it differently, hosting tryouts in India in order to fill out their team. This is a terrific idea and one that hopefully some future teams will adopt. All that matters though is winning, and India Rising wants to come out of this tournament on top.

For more TBT team profiles, click here.

Current Roster:

  • Ajaypal Singh (Westmont College)
  • Aryan Sharma (University of Western Ontario)
  • Kiran Shastri (Chaminade)
  • Manroop Clair (Hawaii/Seattle University/University of British Columbia)
  • Robbie Sihota (University of Calgary)
  • Sai Tummala (Arizona State & Hawaii)
  • Sarju Patel (Albany, Cornell & Virginia Military Institute)
  • Sukhjot Bains (Green Bay/University of the Fraser Valley)
  • Sukhmail Mathon (Boston University)
  • Sukhpreet Singh (Queens University)
  • Tajinder Lall (Brock University & Carleton University)
  • Varun Ram (Maryland)
  • Venkatesha Jois (Eastern Washington)

Coaching Staff:

  • Gautam Kapur (GM)
  • Madhav Trivedi (Head Coach)
  • Amar Duhra (Asst. Coach)
  • Amit Tailor (Asst. Coach)
  • Jash Kahlon (Asst. Coach)
  • Karma Patel (Asst. Coach)

Region:

  • Dayton, Ohio

Team MVP: Robbie Sihota

In last year’s loss, Sihota led the team in scoring with 12 points on 4-7 shooting, including 4-5 from deep. He also added seven rebounds, and only had a +/- of -6, which is impressive considering they lost by 28. When he’s on the court, the team is better, and his ability to knock down shots at the level he does will make him a priority for the defense to guard.

He is listed as a power forward, but at 6’6 he is undersized, so he will have to find ways to not be a liability on the defensive end. Last year, he held his own, but their first-round opponent has a lot of talent and could attack him and force him out of the game in doing so. Still, having a knockdown shooter like Sihota will be a huge advantage for India Rising, especially late in the game.

Make-or-break Player: Sukhmail Mathon 

In last year’s game, Mathon scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Of the ten rebounds, five were offensive. He was a big reason why the rebound gap wasn’t too big between the two teams and why the game wasn’t even more of a blowout. At 6’10, he is a big body to guard, and if they can get extra opportunities from Mathon, that is one way India Rising can win games.

The big concern is the 4/11 shooting in last year’s game. As a big man, you should never be shooting under 40%, especially if you’re not shooting threes. Every possession will be so important in each game for India Rising, so poor shooting performances aren’t going to cut it. Defensively, he’s going to have to step up as well. Last year, the India Rising bigs did a nice job of limiting Boeheim’s Army’s bigs. They’ll need to do that again this year, and that will be led by him.

Team Outlook

Every neutral fan wants India Rising to go on a run in this year’s tournament. Well, except for the selection committee, who placed them as the 8th seed and will have them face Red Scare, the Dayton alumni team in Dayton. Red Scare made the semifinal last year, and is just as good this year, so it’ll be a huge climb for India Rising.

If they win that, they will have to take on Carmen’s Crew or Team Overtime. Carmen’s Crew won the TBT championship in 2019 and boasts the second-most wins in tournament history. The point is, if India Rising wants to win the tournament, they’ll need to play perfectly because the road there is as difficult as is gets.

India Rising has 13 players on the roster, and with 32 minutes of game time plus the elam ending, it’ll be interesting to see how coach Trivedi handles the minutes allocation. Regardless, this India Rising team will be one to watch and a great stage to showcase their talents.

 

 

 

 

 

Image via indiaspora.org

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